Monsters under the bed. Monsters in the closet. When you were a small child did you close your closet door before bedtime in case there was a monster dwelling there? Do you still feel uncomfortable dangling an arm or leg over the side of the bed when you sleep in remembrance of a time when you kept all limbs safely in bed just in case a monster was hiding out under it? The idea of monsters in closets and under beds has reached mythical proportions and is therefore expressed as themes in books for kids.There is JUNIE B. JONES HAS A MONSTER UNDER HER BED by Barbara Park.There is THERE'S A NIGHTMARE IN MY CLOSET by Mercer Mayer. There is poetry such as "Under the Bed" by Penny Trzynka and "The Monster in My Closet" by Phil Bolsta. In kids books the monsters turn out to be figments of their imaginations or real monsters who are either friendly or afraid of the kids.
But then there are takeoffs on the theme for older kids and adults, often tongue-in-cheek renditions or quirky horror films for those who are still kids at heart and afraid of the dark. Such is the 1983 film MONSTER IN THE CLOSET. A monster terrifies the people of San Francisco eluding detection by moving from closet to closet throughout the city and leaving his closet hideouts to kill. BOOGEYMAN, 2007 horror film, begins with a boy in bed. His father enters the room; the boy says, "He's in the closet." The father looks under the bed, and behind the window shutters to show the boy that there is no one hiding in the room. He opens the door to the closet after knocking on the door. The closet appears to be empty. The father turns to the boy and says, "Nope. Nobody here." A second later he is pulled into the closet by an unseen presence, and the door slams shut. The door opens several times as the father struggles to leave the closet, but each time he is dragged back into it. Finally the door slams shut one last time, and the father is never seen again. The staging of the scene is masterful and can keep many fearful kids up late at night with their lights on if they are allowed to view it. I think it's best to keep the monsters friendly.